I have been trying to put my finger on what exactly it is that I like so much about the shamisen, and the Tsugaru style in particular. I think I figured it out today.
I’ve always been a big fan of the electric bass. In particular, I love really good slap bass. I love the percussive pop and the sense of rhythm it adds to the music. I feel like Tsugaru takes the best parts of that and adds a real melodicness (I think I may have just made up that word) that just can’t be achieved on a bass.
Here’s an example. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it proves my point or not.
Miki Santamaria Slap Bass Solo